About the Youth Justice Agency

About the Youth Justice Agency including information on its mission statement and values, framework document, policy, equality, human rights and privacy.

About the Youth Justice Agency (YJA)

The Youth Justice Agency was launched as an Executive Agency, as recommended in the Criminal Justice Review 2000, on 1 April 2003. It replaced the former Juvenile Justice Board.

The Youth Justice Agency aims to make communities safer by helping children to stop offending. The Agency works with children aged 10-17 years who have offended or are at serious risk of offending.

The Agency provides a range of services, often delivered in partnership with others, to help children to address their offending behaviour, divert them from crime, assist their integration into the community and to meet the needs of victims of crime. These front-line services delivered by the Youth Justice Services and Custodial Services directorates.

A Corporate Services directorate provides a range of support functions to the operational strands of the Agency - including the management and delivery of personnel, finance, business planning, information technology, statistics & research and estate management - on behalf of the Chief Executive.

Mission statement and values

Out statement of purpose is:

"Making communities safer by helping children to stop offending"

Our values are that:

  • we will deliver services to young people based on proportionality and individually assessed risks, needs and ability
  • we will work to change, challenge and support young people to be the best they can be
  • we will hold young people to account for their offending and, where possible, young people should make good the harm they have done
  • we will use research and evidence based practice to inform all our work
  • we respect everyone no matter how different they are
  • everything we do will be underpinned by equality, openness, fairness, honesty and integrity

Operating framework

The YJA framework document defines the responsibilities of, and the relationship between, the Agency, the Department, Ministers and the Northern Ireland Assembly, including governance and accountability and outlines the Agency’s financial structure, personnel management arrangements and relationship with other agencies.

This updated version, published in December 2012, replaces the previous version which had been in force since the Agency was created in April 2003 (but updated in June 2008). This document has been reviewed by the Department and the Agency in accordance with DFP guidance on Framework Documents and reflects organisational and policy changes and the new relationships and arrangements resulting from the devolution of justice.


Youth justice policy is separate from the functions of the Agency and is one of the responsibilities of the Department.


Section 75 of the Northern Ireland Act 1998 requires public authorities to promote equality of opportunity and good relations. These duties are designed, in particular, to ensure that equality issues are integral to the whole range of public policy decision making.

Human Rights

In carrying out its duties, the Agency will strive to protect the human rights of all those with whom it comes into contact. Children will receive the highest standards of care while they are with us.

Privacy policy

To learn more about your privacy and how it is affected by using this site, visit the following page:

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